Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy Options

Last Modified on Dec 29, 2014

Dietary Changes   5  0   

Posted by Deirdre (Earth Clinic) on 09/13/2009

[YEA]  I have 3 dogs and took my 15 year old dog, Max, whom I've written about numerous times on this site, to a holistic vet in July. Because he was going #2 every 3-4 hours, the vet advised me to take him off his senior food and put him on another brand of food with less fiber. I slowly switched Max to another holistic brand. Well, changing to a new brand of food cured Max of his constant bowel movements, but within a few days, one of my other dogs, Tuxy, whom I also switched over to the new food, started itching and scratching. Within a week he was itching and scratching like no tomorrow: morning, afternoon, evening, middle of the night, scratch scratch scratch, bite bite bite. Poor boy! I surmised pretty quickly that the new brand of food was causing his new itchy skin issue, as I found no sign of fleas on him when I used the flea comb. What eased the scratching but did not solve the problem was to add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to Tuxy's evening food and a small clove of garlic mashed up just once every few days. I also bathed him and finished the bath with an oatmeal rinse. I put 1/2 cup of instant oats in a Bodum pot (the kind that pushes the coffee grounds down to the bottom) and then filled up the rest of the Bodum with hot water and let it sit while I was shampooing him. Once I rinsed off the shampoo, I poured the oatmeal water over him and did not wash it off. I could tell he was feeling pretty good after that and the scratching stopped for about a day.

At any rate, I ordered Tuxy's old brand of food online and just got it delivered yesterday. Amazingly enough, he has almost stopped scratching after only 1 day back on his old food!! So I am guessing he had either a yeast overgrowth or allergies in connection to the new food. Isn't it interesting that he started to scratch right away on the new food and stopped scratching just as fast on the old food?!

If your dog has skin allergies or yeast issues, consider that their food may be the culprit!

Replied by Demi
Atlanta, Ga
What was the food you ordered? My lab mix puppy scratches too. She doesn't have scabs, but scratches as soon as she wakes up.

EC: Blackwood was the brand I ordered. However, I have since switched them all to Taste of the Wild (Salmon).

Note: Be careful with higher quality holistic foods - two of my dogs gained about 7 pounds in 6 weeks on Taste of the Wild (Bison and Venison) and are now on a strict diet!


Replied by Vicki
Dallas, Tx
[YEA]   I've been the round with dogfoods and as I have a lot of dogs & 3 cats; it's been difficult to find a holistic brand with guaranteed ingredients that don't have grain, or a lot of fat, that I can afford. Pancreatitus is a danger with the high fat brands & if your dog is not an actual working dog in a cold climate, there's a definte risk of this. Grain is responsible for diabetes, yeast infections, & allergies in dogs. One of my little males suffered through 3 rounds of pancreatitus years ago from ProPlan (my vet commented on the high fat content, but it didn't register with me at the time) plus he & 2 of his daughters last fall had a seizure type reaction from one I thought was ok (Blue). Wellness is what I feed them now, with no problems. ACV in their drinking water has improved their coat & skin condition even more. Will be trying coconut oil on one ex-feral cat who continues to have severely itching skin, who vomited the ACV water & refuses to drink it after one episode.
Replied by Remy6287
Florence, Ky, Usa
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   I have a 10 yr old Akita that has suffered from itchy skin for a number of years. It first started when she was bout 7 and then we took her to the vet, got a cortisone shot and she was better for a time. Then about a year ago it came back worse than ever. She was also having trouble with her joints and biting them, mostly her hips.

After doing some research on this site I decided to try a combination of things. Every meal along with her Taste of the Wild food, she gets, 1-2 cloves of garlic , chopped into small pieces (I started with one to see how she reacted and then when she showed no negative side effects, gave her more). About 1 teaspoon of ginger root, chopped up, 3 scoops of organic yogurt, 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (to help with her joints). Within a month of using this combination, her skin cleared up, coat looks shiny, and she is bouncing around like she used to. She still has 2 hot spots on her chest but I think it is due to our location. Hope this helps!

Epsom Salt Baths   0  0   

Posted by Dianec (San Jacinto Ca.) on 01/30/2014

My dog sometimes has mild itching and I wonder if Epsom salt as a bath or soak would be safe to use on my dog? I use Epson salt for my feet as I sometimes have rashes and it takes away itching. I was wondering if Epson salt would work for my dog? Thanks

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
Hey Diane!

Epsom salt baths are safe for dogs.

Replied by Dianec
San Jacinto Ca.
Thank you, Theresa!

Fish Oil   3  0   

Posted by Carol (Flushing, Michigan) on 10/08/2009


Replied by Luann
Spring Hill, Fl
My 11 year old male cat has been suffering from a skin allergy for a little over a year. He has gotten the steroid injections, along with an over the counter antihistamine recommended by my vet. This seems to help for awhile, but now he's scratched himself raw again. Has all the same symptoms: itching, scabs, raw skin, hair loss. I can't get near him with ACV anymore, so the fish oil seems like a good suggestion. What is the strength (MG?) of the capsules you are using. It breaks my heart to him like this.
Replied by Kat
Crown Point, In
[YEA]   I have a small dog (under 20 pounds) and gets very itchy in the summer and fall. I have been giving him the fish oil caplet for the last few years. I went to the vet, and they sent me home with a prescription. The fish oil works better. Plus, he loves the fish oil and has learned to swallow the pill whole. I make sure he gets a drink after the pill. Don't want it stuck in his throat!
Replied by Sarah
Manchester, Britain
[YEA]   Tins of sardines work a treat, just mixed in her food and its an excellent food supplement.
Replied by Betty L.
Lead Hill, Ar
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]   I have just started fish oil again for my Dobie and her insanely itchy skin. Am treating for Candida. Just a caution, with fish oil. My little doxie cross loved the oil too. And I got to feeding them for treats. She got worse and worse, very sick looking. Then I read something about how it can thin the blood. I was thinning her blood too much! I stopped cold and she came back strong!

Ginger   1  0   

Posted by Mamaknocks (Downers Grove, Il, Usa) on 01/07/2010

[YEA]  A GINGER, 550mg capsule cured my dog's inflamed, itchy skin in 5 minutes. A MIRACLE MINUTES, thank GOD! After a long, miserable, sleepless night...peace and quiet.

Replied by Rina
Seattle, Wa
did you mean a ginger supplement or just raw ginger? Could you please be more specific? Thank you.
Replied by Mamaknocks
Downers Grove, Il
Just a regular ginger capsule. I put it in a "Pill Pocket" that are sold by the bag at pet stores. My dog will take anything that I put in those little things! He thinks it's a treat. Ginger is wonderful. If he has an upset tummy, it cures that just as fast as it does itchy skin!

Grass Allergy Remedies   0  0   

Posted by Brooklyn (Brooklyn Ny ) on 09/23/2014

My pet yorkie went with us to Pennsylvania and was running all around the grass and squirming all around the grass now we got back and she's been itching all over. Please help me help her stop itching.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
Hey Brooklyn!

Please give your dog a bath and follow up with a vinegar rinse. I am OK with using white vinegar for a rinse [some only swear by ACV] - I would mix 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water after the bath, making sure your dog gets saturated down to the skin with the rinse.

I would also consider dosing benadryl if your dog is really uncomfortable. I also find it helpful to alkalize your dog's drinking water by adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 liter of water and have this be the only drinking water for the next 7 days.

Replied by Lesley
Agree with Theresa on vinegar, but baking soda has really good anti itch properties so you could wash your dog with a mild solution of bakingsoda, rinse very thoroughly with plain water, followed by a final rinse of 50/50 vinegar and water.
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
Hey Lesley!

Thanks for the baking soda rinse tip!!

Homemade Dog Food   0  0   

Posted by Leslie (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) on 02/09/2013

I have only now found this website and think it's wonderful. Many posts are years old however the problems seem to be the same year after year - so I thought I would give this information for those who are interested.

Dogs that itch terribly, pull their fur out, scratch their ears till they are inflamed, lick and pull at their paws, and more, may have a yeast infection. This is for males too.

A website that addresses this is: http// I have found it to be perfect for my Chihuahua and all his problems including this one.

Homeopathic Remedy Psorinum   1  0   

Posted by Om (Hope Bc, Canada, Bc) on 07/02/2013

[YEA]  My thirty pound Tibetan spaniel kept itching so badly for at least two months. He gets defleaed daily just by combing and ACV spray. It became so bad I put on my thinking cap.

Years ago I contracted scabies on my arms due to animal rescue matters. I used homeopathic PSORINUM 30C. I less than half an hour all was gone, not to return, several years later.

I had planned to use Ted's remedy for mites after doggie had his grooming and trimming for the summer. I could, however, not wait and look at it any longer.

So I gave about four little globules of PSORINUM 30C which is a scabies remedy even though I thought he might have other mites as well which are transmitted by fleas.

I had to observe him and as he resumed scratching after several hours' interval, I had to give the remedy up to five times more. But now, two weeks later, he only scratches when I find a flea upon investigation. I am also using DE in the house which has apparently made a difference.

So, PSORINUM, could be tried for mites or simply bad scratching episodes. It certainly is worth trying, especially the cost is about ten bucks.

I would never consider cortisone shots which damage health or flea treatment that poison the blood. Does anyone realize how many dogs have died in the drug trials before that drug was let loose on the maket? Dogs that receive regular blood poisoning flea treatments, do not live out their normal life span. This was confirmed by a dog breeder who mentioned his German Shepherds live only eight years while reguarly given this drug.

Also, I must make mention of Ted's remedy BORAX. I tried as a shampoo on my fine hair and was amazed how soft, bouncy and shiny was the outcome. Now I will use it regularly on myself and doggie as well. I leave the borax paste on for several minutes, then rinse. Voila. It does away with itch, too. Treats for mites, too.

An altenative is soap nuts. Info online. Best wishes to EC posters. Om

Itchy Skin Medications   0  0   

Posted by Ed (Okemos, Michigan) on 12/28/2014

I have been reading with interest the benefit of Apple Cider Vinegar and am starting the regimen today. My dog has been on .25 mg of Medrol every other day for several years and the vet wants her off that and has prescribed Cyclosporin. When we picked up the compounded script the pharmacist indicated we should use a latex glove when we give it to the dog as it is quite "toxic." And the label on the bottle says "wear gloves when dispensing this medication." My god if it is harmful to human skin, what does it do internally to a dog?

Replied by Diamond
Ma., US
If people are hiding from conventional meds. then you might think about it also. I spent $130.00 for my cat and she was worse, so I started her on home cooked chicken because she has always been a dumpster diver and she is twelve years old, so as it now stands my cat is doing great. I can afford going with-out a meal in order to feed and save my pet/s life. Something more natural is better then these hard core meds. we know nothing about. Your message is a great help, I needed that to help me out a lot more. Thank you.

Medication Link   0  0   

Posted by Michelle (Normal, Il) on 08/25/2010

[SIDE EFFECTS]  itching dog: I have tried everything to cure my dog of his itching and I think it is the flea and heart worm medicine called Revolution that is causing it. I just now found a list of side effects and "pruritus (itching), urticaria (welts, hives), and erythema (skin redness)" was listed. I am going to get him some old fashioned heart worm pills and find an alternative flea preventer.

Medications, Dietary Changes   0  1   

Posted by Diane (Chardon, Ohio) on 01/22/2011

For the dogs ears an all natural product that really works is vets best ear relief wash and dry. Keep the ears dry. My groomer recommended enyzme pro to add to food and I am trying that. (botanical dog) Also, if your dog has really bad sore skin try looking at dermagic-wonderful products to put on skin.

Try to avoid any steroids or cordisones because they only will help short term and will rebound with worse skin worse than when started.

Posted by Kathryn (Houston, Tx, Usa) on 01/21/2010

[NAY]  Itchy Old Dog

The old dog is so tired of scratching and I've tried everything else. I've changed her dog food 3 times. She had a raw scaly bottom and tail about 6 months ago and the vet cost $300.00 for shampoo, cephalosporin and prednisone. Her fur grew back but now she's itching non-stop and starting to get really stinky even after I use the $85.00 shampoo. Don't know if it's mange but am going to see if the cure works!

Wish me luck!

Replied by Adrian
Los Angeles, Ca
When doing food, make sure it is grain free, especially CORN! This will help you a million times over. Also, many dogs that have food allergies are allergic to chicken, so it may help to go with Buffalo or some different protein source.

But if the issue is just itching... it could be an environmental allergy, which is a whole new bag of worries.

Neem Cream   1  0   

Posted by Linda (Dublin, Ireland) on 02/12/2010

[YEA]  cat eczema

my cat had a burn like streak down his back. i thought it looked odd but he didnt seem to mind it. when i took him to the vet he said it was eczema and the dry patch was from over licking caused by the itch. after my initial shame of not noticing i decided to take charge of his skin asap. i work in a health store and bought neem indian cream as i had used it myself on dry skin. the results were amazing. the cat hated it but a couple of times a day i attacked him and within a week or so no more dry skin. it did reapear on his face and again a couple of times a day cleared it up.

Salmon   1  0   

Posted by Keith (Sheffield, South Yorkshire) on 02/08/2013

[YEA]  I have a 4 year old Yorkie that was scratching all the time. I was advised by the lady who cuts her that she suffers from dry skin and would benefit from oilie fish.

Started her on approx. 1 tablespoon of wild tinned salmon each day and she stopped scratching within two days.

Salmon Oil   1  0   

Posted by Kathryn4 (Owings, Maryland) on 02/25/2013

[YEA]  Sometimes the brand of dog food is lacking in nutirents, I found that one squirt of Salmon oil when I feed my dog made his forever itching skin go away and saved tremendous times of bathing him in all kinds of shampoos that did nothing! It works. He was always red and inflamed and now a thing of the past. The vets don't even tell you how to cure this.

Ted's Anti-Fungal and Staph Solution   1  0   

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 10/14/2013

[YEA]  I have dogs who have seasonal allergies and other allergies that show up on their skin. They get hives, or crusty lesions on their skin; sometimes the skin is very reactive and they will rub on furniture to relieve their itching and cause the hives to raise. Sometimes they just get small, black looking spots that give way to round areas that would make you think 'ring worm' but they are not. I have taken them to the vet when the itching is beyond what I can manage and gotten the steroid shot and in some cases antibiotics if the skin has gotten infected. I have bathed in the medicated shampoos to no avail; nothing really seems to *work* and I end up down the same road - cortisone shot and antibiotics.

This year I discovered Ted's Anti-fungal and Anti-staph solution. Since I have a quantity of dogs, I was able to do some side by side testing. I had one dog I used the cortisone shot and Sulfadene medicated shampoo, and other dog I used only Ted's Anti-fungal and Anti-staph solution. While neither the shampoo or Ted's solution outright stopped the inflammatory state of the skin, Ted's solution stopped any topical infection from starting and spreading. In the dog I used the sulfadene on, it looked as if it was turning into a greasy seborrhea; when I used Ted's solution on that dog the condition resolved immediately.

Dogs with allergy skin are work -no question. In my case it means I bathe my dogs weekly, sometimes oftener if needed, in Ted's solution. While it is not perfect -again, I need to find a way to halt the inflammatory state - at least it allows me to keep the skin healthy to avoid a secondary infection and the antibiotics that are required to resolve it.

I gleaned this recipe from Ted's the feedback in the pet section; since I tend to have a quantity of dog to be bathed at any given time, I usually make a quadrupple batch. The only possible side effect may be that a black coated dog will suffer peroxide bleaching which will turn a black coat red with multiple uses over time.

Ted's Anti-fungal/Anti-staph solution


  • 1 - 16 oz bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 bottle Milk of Magnesia
  • 1 box Epsom salts
  • 1 box Borax
  • Filtered or distilled water


Dilute the 16 oz brown bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a 1% solution by dumping the bottle into a jug and adding 32 oz of filtered or distilled water; I just fill up the empty brown bottle with water and dump it in the jug twice. Now you have 48 ounces of a 1% solution of hydrogen peroxide.

Add 4 table spoons EACH:

Borax, Epsom salts, and Milk of Magnesia.

Shake the dickens out of the solution. I usually run a tub full of hot water and set the jug in the tub, and then when the tub cools where I can bathe my dog the solution is by then an agreeable temperature for the dog. Bathe the dog in doggy shampoo or what have you, get all the crusty lesions gently scrubbed up and loose skin and scabs off and rinse well. Now drain the tub and when empty plug it up again and now pour the jug of prepared solution over the dog. I use a plastic cup to scoop up the solution and keep pouring over the dog. I try to keep this up for 10 minutes. If you have multiple dogs with skin issues you may be able to do two at a time depending on the size of your dogs. After 10 minutes I pull the plug and let the dog drip a bit in the tub, and then I take the wet dog with bare hands and put her in a crate with no bedding. Do not towel the dog off - you want as much of the solution to stay on the dog as possible, so it can 'work'. I allow the dog to drip dry in the crate with no bedding. It helps to have the house heat ON, and a nice tasty bone or high value chewy in the crate to distract the dog for a bit. After half an hour I let the dog out and towel dry as best I can and then let them work themselves dry by running all about the house. You do NOT rinse the solution off - you let it dry completely and that is it, until the next bath.

If you have a tiny dog, if you do not wish to make up such a large quantity of solution, the single batch is as follows:

  • 1-1/2 cups of 1% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tbsp MOM
  • 1 tbsp Epsom salts
  • 1 tbsp Borax

You may be able to put this into a spritzer bottle and spritz problem areas on your dog, but I find it best to tackle the entire dog with a full body treatment first, before using the spritz bottle for a spot treatment approach.

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